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Dialogue vs debate explains the difference between the two forms of discussion. This dialogue crib-sheet is one I use as a handout at my workshops. It distinguishes Dialogue from Debate.

It’s important to understand the difference between the two forms. The term ‘dialogue’ is often used loosely to mean ‘discussion’ or ‘information gathering’. It may also used incorrectly in place of ‘consultation’ to give the impression that peoples’ views are being sought, but real dialogue has no agenda other than to allow connection between participants.

Dialogue is a distinctive kind of communication that allows people to connect and build shared meaning. Compared with discussion – where people present ideas with the aim of putting forward the strongest or most persuasive view – dialogue fosters a collaborative exchange of ideas aimed at mutual respect and understanding.

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